Culture

Classical Music - Beethoven

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What marked his artistic development was the impact of the Enlightenment revolution in ideas, particularly of freedom, equality and fraternity, that found material expression in the French Revolution.

This is the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, one of the greatest composers, whose enduring power stems from the close relationship between his creativity and the social turmoil that engulfed the world he grew up in.

Beethoven came from a family of court musicians. In 1792 he settled in Vienna, the great social and cultural centre of the Habsburg Empire.

3.15.20 - Childish Gambino

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Since the days of Derrick Comedy, Donald Glover has been hitting nothing but net. Straight out of college he was writing for and acting in award winning shows.

He got bored, derived the name “Childish Gambino” from a Wu-Tang name generator, then achieved sickening success with the song Redbone, gaining four Grammys and going platinum. He then smashed it again with This is America.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan. That’s why I’m harsh... and baffled. I’m baffled because I don’t know if his concept with numbers is halfhearted or poorly executed.

Catching the New Wave

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Cultural flows have proved more multi-directional than commentators could have imagined

The English-speaking world has dominated global pop culture for as long as anyone can remember, but when it comes to the wave of South Korean cultural exports, we suddenly find ourselves two steps behind everyone else. The term Korean Wave, or Hallyu in Korean, was coined from the Chinese characters han liu in the late 1990s, and has since taken off as a description for the increasing popularity of South Korean film, television and pop music.

Misbehaviour

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Sashaying in the footsteps of Made in Dagenham, Battle of the Sexes and Hidden Figures to sprinkle Hollywood dust on milestones of the fight for gender equality, Misbehaviour offers a post-millennial viewpoint on the women’s liberation protests at the 1970 Miss World pageant.

With over 100 million viewers, the beauty contest was then the most-watched television programme on the globe – or as the show’s compere tells us on screen, more than the moon landings or the World Cup final.

Algiers

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Somehow it was apt that Algiers took the stage as Storm Ciara took its toll on the country. Inside, the brave, the curious and the devoted were treated to a devastating live set, which drew heavily from their new album There Is No Year.

The opening punk blast of “Void” set the tone; resplendent under the neon red strip lights, the band tore through a diverse set list with absolute command. The band acted as one supremely powerful entity, locking in and out of searing dance grooves and discordant noise sequences with consummate ease.

Power from Below

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If anyone needs extra motivation for another five years of the Tories, Motihari Brigade will put your marching boots on in Power from Below.

Named after the Indian birthplace of George Orwell, their call to action is standing up to power through their own Orwellian “thoughtcrime” music.

The album begins with the cry that everything will stay the same “until people take the power” and ends with a poignant message in “Waiting for the Revolution” that “We are on our own but we are not alone”.

Land of No Junction

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Melancholic ethereal vocals reminiscent of Sharon Van Etten, with wandering guitar picks and Courtney Barnett-esque bass provide an arresting balance as the Irish songwriter’s debut album opens.

The unexpected introduction of a late 60s psychedelic sound, the chord progressions with the bend of 7ths, floating flute and jagged touch of the strings over the top lifts the mood.

Themes of a woman finding herself at a crossroads in life, there is a longing for more agency, but with resigned understanding that we don’t have it.

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